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Chicago & Midwest  + North Side  + Retail  | 

Restaurant Group Welcomes Plan to License Sidewalk Cafes Year-Round

As part of a package of reforms to support small businesses across the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed allowing restaurants to operate outdoor seating areas year-round, weather permitting. That’s an increase from the current nine-month operating period.

The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) lauded the proposal. “The IRA has been lobbying for a year-round sidewalk café license since February 2017, when temperatures soared into the 80s,” the group said in a statement.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, IRA president and CEO Sam Toia cited a couple of North Side neighborhoods that might be especially conducive to year-round permitting. “It’s all about an experience,” said Toia. “If you’re going after that millennial crowd, those restaurateurs might look at this because this is an experience. You might have more places in River North looking at it than the Gold Coast. Maybe in Logan Square or in Avondale.”

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).